Meet The Owner: Oak City Customs

Oak City Customs

Meet the owner of Oak City Customs

Meet the owner of Oak City Customs, Dylan Selinger! A true entrepreneur through and through, Dylan wasn’t always in the furnishing business. He dabbled in everything from breweries to pedicabs before he found and honed his passion for creativity at Oak City Customs.

Oak City Customs

Laying the Groundwork

Dylan studied entrepreneurship at NC State University before starting Crank Arm Brewery with a few friends. For four years, he described his role as, “Figuring out how to make things run and solve problems.” Through this startup mentality and watching costs by fixing issues himself, he grew into a talented handyman. So how did Dylan jump into running a custom “Tree to Table” business with some of largest machinery in North Carolina? It did not happen overnight.

Oak City Customs was born in an attempt to solve the problem of keeping urban, historic, and old trees out of landfills. Ignited by a friend in the tree service industry, Dylan and a few friends invested in a small sawmill, turned their garage woodshop into a business, and began experimenting with a range of materials. 

Now in their 8th year, Oak City Customs has grown into a 15,000 square-foot manufacturing facility that handles the entire process of producing custom furnishings. From detailed metal work to kiln-drying wood, Oak City Customs is unlike any other custom furnishing company, due to their ability to produce your project in-house. 

Pushing Through

When talking with Dylan, his determination and grit is clear. He operates under the saying, “You will get out what you put in.” His 12-14 hour days show he practices his own advice. 

“Being your own boss can be hard. You are not only pushing yourself, but setting an example for those around you. It is important to create a work life balance and an empowering atmosphere for yourself and your team.”

Dylan keeps himself and his team going by encouraging questions, new ideas and techniques in manufacturing, and being flexible with the way the team works and approaches projects. 

Dylan added, “As a leader of a team, it is vital to know the difference between working in the business and working on the business. You have to empower others and give them the ability to grow.” 

Growth Is Good

Today, the Oak City Customs team is made up of 16 full-time and a handful of part-time employees. When speaking with Dylan, you can see how proud he is of his team.

“At the beginning, I asked them to pay it forward in a way. I showed them the mission of Oak City Customs and our vision for the future. I knew I couldn’t pay them what other big companies could, but by working hard with me they knew there was a senior level role here for them. Working at Oak City Customs offers more than a living, it offers a creative outlet and growth opportunities where ‘you will get out what you put in.’”

Working at Oak City Customs offers more than a living, it offers a creative outlet and growth opportunities where ‘you will get out what you put in.’”

Dylan is honored by the faith his employees have in him and says it’s a major piece of what keeps him going.

He is looking forward to what the company will do in the next 8 to 30 years. “There are a lot of different directions that the company could grow.” One of the next shop upgrades on the horizon is converting their sawdust into a power source for their production process. The Triangle region will continue to grow, which means trees will continue to come down due to development and other reasons. Oak City Customs will continue to recycle and repurpose local materials to create truly unique custom furnishings, architectural projects, and supply lumber and fabrication products to the region.